It’s a city better known for its skyscrapers and suits but Hong Kong Island is still an island and you can be out of Central and in your sandals on the sand in thirty minutes.
Hong Kong has some fantastic and often overlooked beaches – golden stretches of sand that are the perfect place to broil amidst the humidity. And while the best beaches are found in the wilder stretches of the New Territories and the far-flung islands, Hong Kong Island also has some top spots to pitch your sandcastle.
And the best of the four below? Head for Turtle Cove – it’s worth the work.
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Repulse Bay Beach
Hong Kong’s most popular beach thanks to it being a hop, skip and a jump from Central, Deepwater Bay has a decent spread of golden sand to sunbathe on. While water quality around Hong Kong Island beaches is generally suspect, the waters around Deepwater Bay are particularly murky and you may not want to dip your toes in let alone your head – although plenty of people do. Be warned, at weekends Deepwater Bay gets busy so get there early if you want to grab a spot. Perched on the hills above the beach is the iconic ‘hole in the middle’ building that was once the Repulse Bay Hotel and which now houses, apartments, shops, and high-end restaurants.
How to get there: You can grab either the 6X or the 250 from Exchange Square in Central – the 6X is faster. It’s a 30 min journey.
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Only for the dedicated sun seeker. Turtle Cove in Tai Tam is the best beach on Hong Kong Island. It’s a glorious stretch of golden sand hemmed in by bucolic greenery on all sides with just a palm tree or two for shade. By Hong Kong Island standards it’s also blissfully crowd-free, although the reason for that is it’s so difficult to find. The on-site BBQ pits are a great place to cook yourself up dinner while you soak up the sun.
How to get there: You’ll need bus 14 from Sai Wan Ho MTR station. Get off the bus just after the Tai Tam Reservoir and look for the steep steps that lead down to the beach.
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Hong Kong’s very best seaside town, Stanley is full of seafront promenades, alfresco restaurants and drinks stuffed with umbrellas. It’s also got a pair of beaches. Stanley Beach is a narrow strip of sand that is closer to the town and offers access to watersports and other facilities. If you don’t mind walking a little further (15mins), St Stephen’s beach is a little smaller but usually quieter.
How to get there: Frequent 6, 6A, 6Z and 260 buses run from Exchange Square in Central and take around 45 mins to reach the village.
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Big Wave Bay
Despite the name and the fact that Hong Kong’s nascent surfing community paddle around in the water this isn’t Hawaii and you won’t find any grand waves crashing the shoreline. That doesn’t mean that Big Wave Bay isn’t worth a visit. Just a few minutes walk from the expansive Shek O Beach, Big Wave Bay is one of the bigger and best stretches of sand on Hong Kong Island. Sat on the south of the island it also offers slightly cleaner water quality if you fancy a dip. While the nearby village of Shek O is enjoyably ramshackle and the bare bones restaurants attract a laid-back crowd the beach itself is often packed with millionaires and other show-offs. Be warned about the bling.
How to get there: Take the MTR to Shau Kei Wan station where you can hop on bus 9 to Shek O.